Under the Macroscope Convergence in the US Television Market Between 2000 and 2014

By Tobias Steiner

The paradigms of media change and convergence in relation to the so-called ›new media‹ have kept scholars occupied for more than two decades. In the US and the UK, the switch from analogue to digital television comprises just the most recent step of technological developments offering an unprecedented variety of ways in which national, transnational, and global audiences are able to access television content. This article’s aim is to offer a macroscopic review of these changing ways within the US television market during the past decade. This will be done with a distinct focus on statistical data in order to diachronically substantiate the often-attributed active role that consumers played in the larger transformations that are nowadays subsumed under the term ›convergence‹. Subsequently, the article will provide a short case study of the US premiumcable network HBO in order to exemplify the mechanisms at work within this larger convergence landscape that does not stop at the borders of the United States, but transcends nationalities to form a truly global media setting.